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HomeBreakingThe number attending Panthaku celebration in Yangon slowly increasing post-coup

The number attending Panthaku celebration in Yangon slowly increasing post-coup

An increasing number of Yangon residents took part in Panthaku celebrations on Nov. 7 – which takes place on the night of the Tazaungdaing festival – a resident of North Okkalapa Township told DVB. Panthaku is a traditional Burmese custom where people donate cash, rice, oil, salt, clothes, and cash during the night of Tazaungdaing by leaving it out on the street for others in need. 

“I used to discard K300,000 ($143 USD) for Panthaku donations every year to bring joy to those suffering from financial difficulties. I collected a small amount of money every month for this celebration,” a resident of North Okkalapa said. “As our township is under martial law, many people were looking for Panthaku donations very early,” another man said. A North Dagon resident said he took his family out to collect Panthaku donations for survival rather than to celebrate. “We are a family of five and live in a hostel. All of us picked up Panthaku donations last night. We got over K30,000 ($14 USD) and five baskets of rice, and it will cover us for a week,” he said. 

Safety and security was on the minds of most Yangon residents due to the increase in violent crime following last year’s military coup. Five people have been killed and four have been injured in attacks across the city so far this month. “Even though we picked up other’s donations at night, we were scared that explosions, arrests or robberies could occur under the cover of darkness. House owners also eyed us suspiciously when we looked for things,” a Hlaing Tharyar resident said.

In Yangon, Panthaku celebrations ended at 10 p.m. for residents of South Dagon, North Dagon, Shwe Pyithar, Hlaing Tharyar and North Okkalapa Townships, as all are under martial law. Prior to the 2021 military coup, the night of Tazaungdaing was filled with traditional celebrations such as Panthaku donations, family gatherings, large outdoor events, and concerts free for the public. Events like this have been slow to scale up over the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the political and economic crisis caused by the coup.

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